Thirteenth Doctor EU Recap

I just finished reading/listening to all of 13’s expanded media so I figured I’d make a little recap post about it. Not gonna go in depth about any thing just some basic opinions and recommendations.

Original Novels

I really enjoyed all of 13’s novels, including (perhaps especially even) the children’s ones. I’ll give some brief thoughts on all of them but I’d say that if you’re looking for more 13 content, picking up whichever novel seems most interesting to you is probably the best place to start.

The Good Doctor- Lots of fun but my least favorite of the 3 NSA novels because it does feel like it’s hitting really hard with a generic “war is bad” message that sometimes creeps a little into “violent resistance makes the oppressed just like the oppressors.” Still a good read, just didn’t like it as much as the next 2.

Molten Heart- My favorite of the 3 NSA novels in terms of plot. Really simple and felt the most like it could be adapted into a TV episode. Really loved the setting of the inside of a hollow planet a lot.

Combat Magicks- The plot on this one is kinda messy, and it feels like the aliens are never are never explained well enough to make any more sense than just being witches, but this is my favorite of the 3 in terms of characterization of the main cast. Definitely some bias towards this one in that it keeps The Doctor and Yaz together more than the other 2, but it’s also got some good stuff like Ryan getting to flirt with a Roman soldier

At Childhood’s End- This one was a lot of fun and the 13 and Ace team-up is great. Also has a couple chapters of 7 and Ace showing their falling out. Want to re-visit this one after I finish watching all of Ace’s episodes. Unfortunately this one is pretty firmly de-canonized by POTD, but if you don’t care about that I think this is definitely a good read for fans of Ace.

The Secret in Vault 13- I didn’t actually expect much from the children’s novels but this is maybe my favorite of all the novels. It’s a key hunt story, so you get a few mini adventures as part of one larger one, and it was just a super fun read.

The Maze of Doom- Also really fun, although I did like it a bit less than The Secret in Vault 13 and the resolution felt pretty rushed. However this one dis surprise me by having the most insane Thasmin sexual tension moment in all of 13’s EU so for that it is kinda my favorite.

The Wonderful Doctor of Oz- The Wizard of Oz pastiche is super fun here, and it’s great seeing 13 interact with a couple other characters who I won’t spoil here. This one does suffer a bit from taking the Fam out of action pretty early on and leaving a new character as the main companion though.

Novelizations

I enjoyed both novelizations, but wouldn’t say either is a required read if you’ve seen the TV episodes. Kerblam! does make some changes that help it stick the landing on its message a bit better, but nothing super major. The Witchfinders is pretty faithful, but does add a bit of extra backstory to some of the main characters and gives Willa a nice epilogue.

Team TARDIS Diaries

These are alright and they have a kinda fun format that lets the perspective change between Yaz, Ryan, and Graham over the course of the story, but they both feel a little rushed and unfortunately they both build up an over-arching villain of the series that never gets realized because the planned 3rd and 4th books never happened.

Short Stories

Not gonna go into every short story so I’ll just highlight the two collections that have the majority of her short stories: Star Tales and Adventures in Lockdown.

Star Tales has 6 decently long short stories with various historical figures/celebrities, all featuring 13, but a couple also featuring some other doctors (and one of them, Chasing the Dawn, is actually primarily an 11 story that 13 is telling to Yaz). These aren’t all my favorite stories but it’s overall a pretty fun collection.

Adventures in Lockdown has a lot of stories but the 13th Doctor ones that I think really deserve a spotlight are the Shadow trilogy, Press Play, and Fellow Traveller. She’s also got a couple others in there that are good, but those were the standouts to me.

Comics

Titan Comics- These are alright, but not my favorite. I find that the 4-issue stories are an awkward length where they’re long enough to need to be more than just a quick little action-packed adventure, but not long enough to really develop deep stories. Year 1 is still pretty fun, especially the last story which features a really fun realization of a certain character who’s only ever briefly mentioned on TV. I liked the team-up with 10 for the first story in her 2nd year, but the second one (which was awkwardly the start of a new comic line rather than continuing in hers) I was a bit less fond of.

Doctor Who Magazine- I liked these a lot more than the Titan comics. They’re much shorter so they get to just be fast-paced little adventures that are a lot of fun to read, and the first few stories do actually get tied together in Mistress of Chaos, which was probably my favorite comic story. The DWM comics are also the only expanded media to have Dan in them!

Audio

The Romanov Project- Not much to say about this one but it’s alright if you want a short little hour long audiobook.

Redacted- I really wanted to like this one, and I did at times, especially when 13 properly shows up, but unfortunately found that it kinda dragged and I just didn’t end up liking the main cast of it very much. Haven’t listened to season 2 and probably never will.

TL;DR

Overall the things that I enjoyed most and would recommend people check out are any of her novels and her DWM comic run. Also definitely recommend everyone to read Fellow Traveller, preferably without looking up what it’s about or who is in it.

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Well there’s no 13 in season 2 for a start, but it is a bit more focussed than season 1 which seemed at pains to bring as many characters from the TV Whoniverse to make it ‘legit’ wherease series 2 has the confidence to just be it’s own thing. I think it did it quite well.

I would like to second the children’s book opinions- definitely my favourite of any 13 stuff I’ve seen, except maybe the comics (With a Little Help from my Friends, I remember liking, and also the one that was 12 regenerating into her and remembering a story from each of their past regenerations). Huge disagree on Redacted, which I absolutely adore, but my favourite was definitely the wonderful dcotor of oz. I haven’t consumed all of 13’s EU though, but still, children’s books for the win!!!

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This is kinda the exact reason why I’m not interested in listening to season 2, because the parts that I liked of season 1 were generally when existing characters showed up, and I generally just didn’t like the main trio much. I really wanted to like them but I just ended up finding them annoying a lot of the time, with the exception maybe of Abby who I think I generally liked.

So this then brings the number of very different Ace departures up to what? Four or five? We have the “leaves for Time Lord Academy” from Big Finish, the “becomes Time’s Champion” from the VNAs, the “brutal death” from DWM, this novel, and Power of the Doctor.

You say de-canonized, I say wibbly wobbly, timey wimey, all stories are canon, they are just different strands of the web of time :smiley:

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I enjoyed the Titan run for the most part. My issue with it is that we had a decent Year 1, but then Year 2 got plagued by Covid (didn’t intend this as a pun) and differing creative directions that resulted in a series name change, weird numbering and an abrupt ending after it seemed like they were building towards… something.

Yeah it really is a shame how much her era got impacted by Covid. DWM comics also had a significant hiatus because of it.

Although it did lead to one of the best seasons of the show at least.

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I just ordered The Runaway TARDIS. This will be my oldest daughter’s first introduction to Doctor Who. I will have to translate it as I read it to her.

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That’s adorable!

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Runaway TARDIS was a really cute little kid’s story, I hope she enjoys it!

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I think she will. Me and my partner are watching New Who (her first time) and my daughter has picked up on that and often asks if we are going to watch Doctor Who when she is asleep. I think that this will be a nice first introduction for her.

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